• There will be many celebrations around the country to mark the 50th anniversary of V.E. Day on 8th May. Chatham Historic Dockyard has a fly-past and historic vehicle rally, Dover Castle has a “recreation” with British soldiers and military vehicles, plus an ENSA-style show; and the Imperial War Museum in London has an exhibition entitled “London at War” which runs until November.
• Stop This Rot is a fascinating book featuring more than 150 historic buildings in England and Wales in need of restoration, from watermills to churches. Many of the properties are for sale and contact details are supplied. Copies cost £10.95, including postage, from Save Britain’s Heritage, 68 Battersea High Street, London SW11 3HX, check here,
• Castle Ashby in Northampton-shire is hosting a range of themed House Party Weekends, with such titles as “Our English Heritage,” “Homes and Gardens” and “Social Graces and Hospitality”
• Theatreworks is offering one-week courses in the technical aspects of theatre, from set design to special effects. Aimed at amateurs, the courses take place in Happisburgh, Norfolk, .
• A dip into the archives produces the following anniversaries:
450 years ago King Henry VIII granted a borough charter to Boston in Lincolnshire.
350 years ago the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth taking settlers to the New World.
125 years ago the National Society for Aid to the Sick and Wounded in War was founded — later to become the British Red Cross Society.
THE great open skies of the Norfolk Broads look down on glittering ribbons of water and a lush green landscape dotted with icturesque windmills and villages whose ancient churches reflect the area’s wealth in centuries gone by.
Travelling through these wide expanses of wetland, with the eerie boom of the bittern and evocative reed-thatched villages, a visitor might offer a prayer of thanks for such beauty. But it is to God’s medieval emissaries on earth rather than the Almighty himself that thanks are initially due, for the shallow lakes that we now know as the Broads are the flooded remains of a thriving peat-digging industry spearheaded by medieval monks.
Recognising a money-making scheme in an area devoid of timber, they massively exploited the digging of peat for fuel. Though the Romans had quarried some peat, during the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, learn more about historical germany at compare hannover hotels website, a phenomenal total of 2,600 acres went under the spade, and rising sea levels sent watery fingers inland to claim the workings.
Visitors can use a variety of transport to explore the sparkling cobweb of rivers, broads and marshes that make up the Norfolk Broads. Car, boat, bicycle or foot are the usual options, while that ancient workhorse, the single-sailed wherry, has been a pleasure craft since Victorian times on the 130 miles of navigable waterways of the Broads national park.